Since Google began making its online mapping program available, users all over the world have been able to look at maps in cities in detail down to individual building numbers and street addresses. Users have, in more recent years been able to navigate driving directions, locate landmarks and even see satellite information super-imposed on to the online map. This has been of obvious interest to travelers who are often unfamiliar with a new place. Users know this feature as “Google Maps”.
While Google Maps has continued to evolve over the last couple of years, so has Google’s online business directory originally called Google Places, now called Google Plus Local. Google Plus Local allowed customers to find a business with the same ease that they once used the Yellow Pages. In other words, if a user wanted to find a Plumber in Sydney, they would go to the Google search engine and type in those two keywords. Google Local would then show the searcher all of the plumbers in Sydney that were available to be called and or visited.
Because Google provided driving directions to the businesses using its mapping site/programming as a foundation; Google Local has often been referred to by users, in general and business owners, in particular as “Google Maps”. Therefore, there has sometimes some confusion in communicating what one means. Sometimes, when a business owner says that you can find them on Google Maps, they really mean Google Plus Local.
Regardless of the terminology, if you are selling to local customers, you should consider a Google Plus Local strategy. Without getting too deep into statistics, there are two that are very important. The first is widely known. Of all of the searches conducted by users world-wide, over 60% of them are conducted on the Google website.
This is an important static and takes on even more relevance with the next one which states that about 43% of all of Google searches are local, according to digital analyst Chitika. This means that about a quarter of all searches world-wide are local searches conducted on Google. Obviously, if your business sells products or services to local customers, it likely that a large number of customers are using Google locally to look for businesses like yours.
In order to be found easily by this large group of internet users, one thing that you can do immediately is to make sure that the Google Local profile for your business is completed. You’ll want to make sure that your profile is filled out in a “search engine friendly” manner so that you will be able to compete for the top positions on keyword searches used by your customers. Filling in the spots for your Google Local profile is straightforward and can be completed without a considerable amount of technical knowledge.
What is a little more difficult is doing so in a manner in which your profile is treated favorably in search engine rankings. If you can, you’ll want to retain the help of a marketing consultant that is knowledgeable and stays up-to-date on the changes that Google makes to the program. Doing so will help you to optimize your profile and make sure that you are getting the maximum share of the related Google search traffic that occurs on the local level.